With "Richard III," Shakespeare gives us another play about deception and manipulation. Throughout the play, language is used to deceive others and to gain what one wants.
The largest examples of this of course come from Richard himself. Richard's plan is to become king, which is going to take some manipulation and work on his part, as right now his eldest brother holds that role. He decides that it would benefit him to court and marry Lady Anne, because it would make him an even better canidate for the throne in the event of his older brother's death. Lady Anne had been married to the kind of the previous king, but he was recently killed by Richard and his family. This obviously would make convincing her to marry him more challenging, but because of his skills in manipulative language, it seems that Richard actually finds joy in the challenge. Through his interaction with her, he uses his words to actually make her take some of the blame for her husbands death, saying that her beauty is what caused him to kill her husband in the first place. His speech is so effective that she actually takes his ring and agrees to speak with him later!
Another example of manipulative language comes from Richard's brother, Clarence. Unfortunately, his manipulation does not ultimately save his life, but it does make his murderers second guess themselves and hesitate for a while while he speaks. He pleads for his life in a way that evokes pity from the murderers, and earlier in the play, Richard actually warned them that this may happen as a result of Clarence's skill with language.
I enjoyed comparing these ideas with the ideas of deception in "Othello." Iago's genius in deceit came from his ability to appear so sincere, and make people over-think his subtle suggestions. However, the characters in Richard are using deception in a different way. Their skill comes from manipulation, using their language to actively make people believe something that they did not believe before in order to work to their own benefit. As I read on, it will be interesting to see what type of deceit within the two plays seems most effective.